I have so many happy memories from Chanukah this past December at the Tree. I hope our students and families will carry these with them into the future. It’s so important to take time for ourselves to celebrate and find joy in our traditions and festivals. Chanukah, loved by all and especially our children is a time to bring more light into our world and our community.
Rabbi Myers delighted our TLC students with forming a TLC Makelah (choir). Our children learned, sang, and performed four Chanukah songs, in four different languages! What a treat and what fun it was to learn them with Rabbi Myers! I made plenty of sugar cookie dough that our children formed tons chanukah shaped cookies. There was even enough for the adults to decorate at our first night of Chanukah shul wide celebration. We lit the Chanukiot together, sang the brachot, enjoyed the Makelah and sang together. We enjoyed games, crafts and delicious food for all! On December 17th we traveled to Beth Shalom for the annual Latkepalooza fun! We have now enjoyed being with our greater community for the fourth year. I loved watching our children engage in the crafts, games, and food and other children. I was so proud of our four madrichim who ran booths and engaged with all of the children there that morning. Since we had our final Tuesday session on the 8th night of Chanukah we again enjoyed some Chanukah fun, a school dinner, and we lit an oil Chanukah Menorah as well.
To give to our community we held two major collections. Families throughout the Tree brought in new gifts for children of different ages from the tags they chose from the Mitzvah Menorah. Gifts were donated to local pantries for children to enjoy this holiday season. Additionally, we continued our collection for the Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) refugee program. They asked for gently used winter coats and other warm items. Our 7th graders took a car full over to them. Thank you to all the donors and many people generously donated new items as well.
As we begin the cold month of January, the Hebrew month of Sh’vat arrives. We will learn about and celebrate Tu B’Sh’vat, the 15th Day of the month of Sh’vat which honors the New Year of the Trees. Although mid winter for us, it is the beginning of the spring season in Israel. We will honor the holiday with special foods, drinks, readings and songs connected to the season with a Tu Bishvat Seder on Sunday, January 28th. This will be a congregation wide event and we hope to see you there!
If you would like more information about Torah Lishmah Community, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at TLC@tolols.org